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Don't Carve That Stock!

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...Unless you are good at it.
I've seen a lot of well made rifles, some even with very nice metal engravings, but then come the photos of the cheek piece or whatever, with some terribly done carvings (or more like attempts at carving).
Bad carving can absolutely ruin your fine gun.
Take the time to develop the skill, know your skill level and proceed with caution. It's better to leave it plain sometimes, honestly.
Cheers.
 
Many new "carvers" , actually have problems understanding design concepts. If you can't design a carving , it might turn out clunky looking , and not delecate , like most actual original carvings were. Get help from someone that knows how to translate carving from original pictures , as in Shumway's books. I got lucky when I first started to do m/l carving art. The legendary Lou Sanchez , sat down with me , and taught me the ropes of design with pencil and paper , at a national shoot , Friendship Ind. , back in the 1970's. More advice , try to put the correct carving on a gun from a specific school. Putting Lancaster school carving on a Lehigh valley stock , looks awkward and inappropriate.
 
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If most originals were indeed "crude," and if we strive for period correctness, who is more accurate. The crude carver, or the Picasso of all things carved?

And a rhetorical question, what's the reason behind originals being mostly crude. They had the same tools, and the ability to take the time and the ability to do intricate work. So why be crude about it.
 
If most originals were indeed "crude," and if we strive for period correctness, who is more accurate. The crude carver, or the Picasso of all things carved?

And a rhetorical question, what's the reason behind originals being mostly crude. They had the same tools, and the ability to take the time and the ability to do intricate work. So why be crude about it.
I think you had the answer all along , (tool) is what comes to mind . I in that time period might not be able to carve my shovel handle , my other tool my rifle would be easier with less breakage /Ed
 
My gun, my art. I'm not worried about what someone is going to think about it long after I'm dead.
I am pretty sure a lot of old timers screwed with carving their stocks and wound up with a ugly mess? Like my father use to say when someone was in the shop needing a part repaired that they had worked on,''Looks like a bears a$$ sewed up with grape vine""!
He had a special way with the kings english!
 
My dear old Dad did checkering on modern rifles for about 30 yrs. , as a hobby , because he loved doing it. He had a small bench set up next to the furnace in the cellar. He would checker many evenings after work . I watched him work , but I had no desire to do the hours of repetitious lines it took to do checkering. He did. His work was flawless.
 
This is an attitude that really frustrates me. nobody gets to be good at something without practice. My carving and engraving is amateurish to be generous but I get better every time I try. it is not sophisticated or a beautiful design or well executed but at least I am making mistakes and learning. I am not great at building the rest of the gun either but if I let my limited skill stop me I would sit in front of a tv for the rest of my life never getting better at anything. I really wish someone would write a book on drawing and design for Longrifles. disregard the naysayers and give it a go.
 

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The biggest problem that results in a poor job, is lack of understanding of the golden mean. If you can't draw a flowing design correctly with no flat spots, don't try to put it on a gun. When I was being taught engraving, I was put to work drawing designs on paper for a month before I was permitted to put a graver to metal. The actual execution can be a bit crude, as long as the artistic expression is done correctly.

You don't need to practice on a gun stock. Make cribbage boards, walking sticks, any piece of wood you can get your hands on, you can practice your drawing and carving skills.
 

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